We’re happy to share our Fall 2021 Book Notes: covers and brief descriptions can be found in the above link!
Dear WCSA members!
We’re happy to share with you this year’s presidential address from Joe Varga (Indiana University, Labor Studies), which can be read in its entirety here!
Job opportunity! California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Southern California, is hiring a new tenure-track assistant professor in their Program of Labor Studies, starting Fall 2022.
From the ad: “We invite candidates from a range of disciplines, including history, geography, applied economics, sociology, public policy, and urban planning. We are interested in candidates who understand Labor Studies as an applied as well as scholarly field. Candidates should have an interest in establishing and building collaborative relationships with labor unions, workers centers, government agencies, and community organizations in various ways, such as serving as guest speakers and working together on internships, job placements, workforce development, public events, and research projects.”
“Our new colleague will be expected to teach our students to understand and apply theories of collective action, collective bargaining, and/or law as they intersect with race, class, gender, sexuality, national status, immigration, place, poverty, inequality, and policy in the context of a global political economy. They will have a commitment to teaching a diverse student population on a campus with cultural wealth and history. We recognize that Labor Studies includes inquiry into informal work, social reproduction, and care economies, and welcome scholars investigating new and emerging workplace technologies and modalities.”
The full job ad and application information can be found here: https://careers.csudh.edu/dh/en-us/job/504460?lApplicationSubSourceID=
Please share widely in support and solidarity!
There is a new call for papers for a special issue of Teaching Sociology on the topic of Teaching Sociology by, for, and about First-Generation and Working-Class Persons. For those interested, here’s the link to the full call:
The local conference planning committee hosting the 2022 version of the Working-Class Studies Association’s annual conference is happy to announce that the conference call for papers has been finalized.
Call for Papers
Working-Class Studies Association Conference
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, June 20-23, 2022
Class Dynamics at Work
The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the nature of work and what it means to be working class. Recognizing their power, the unemployed and furloughed are resisting the command to return to poverty-wage jobs. As Amazon workers fight to unionize, their billionaire boss shoots himself into space. Burnt out on Zoom and the inequities of remote learning, teachers wonder: When, if ever, will it be safe to return to in-person classes? And will the COVID crisis only further the erosion of public education? For those of us working in higher ed, the value of both a college education and our own labor feels ever more precarious. We question whether higher education remains a viable route for social mobility for students, faculty, and staff from working-class and first-generation backgrounds.
What, if anything, does the academy owe the working class? Can the working class ever truly find a home in the neoliberal university? Can Working-Class Studies?
The Working-Class Studies Association invites submissions for papers, panels, and creative works that consider the dynamics of class at work—and how class dynamics, for better and worse, influence what work means and becomes. For the first time ever, our conference has also “gone left”—as in, to the “left coast” or Pacific Northwest United States—and will be housed at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. We especially encourage scholars, activists, and artists from the region to submit proposals, to highlight how working-classness expresses itself out west: among other ways, through centering the relationship between labor, race, gender, immigration, indigeneity, environment, and land stewardship in our commitments.
Themes and topics for proposals might include, but are not limited to:
• Laboring in the “Knowledge Factory,” or Class in Higher Education
• Work and COVID-19
• Intersections of Class, Race, Ethnicity, Indigeneity, Gender, Sexuality, and/or Ability
• Class and the Environment/Climate Change
• Class in Literature, Art, and Media
• Capitalism and Empire
• Global, Regional, and Migrant Working Classes
• Populism, Nationalism, and/or Class “Culture Wars”
• Poverty and Class Experiences
• Urban/Rural Working-Class Life
• Post and De-Industrialization
• Class and Colonialism
• Place, Belonging, and Class
• The End of Wage Labor?
• Working-Class Academic (panel dedicated to WCA issues)
Submitting Your Proposal
• Please download, fill out, save, and return this PROPOSAL TEMPLATE to email@example.com.
• Proposal abstracts for papers, panels, creative works/exhibitions, and round tables should be no longer than 350 words.
• We highly encourage the submission of proposals for individual papers and presentations. If submitting a full panel proposal, however, please include contact information for each presenter and indicate technology needs, if any.
• Please include brief biographical information (2-3 sentences) for each presenter.
• In anticipation of the ongoing need to offer remote access due to COVID-19, we are also hoping to add one virtual or remote-track panel per session. If you’d prefer to present your work remotely, please indicate this.
• We are limiting presenters to participation on no more than two panels.
A pdf version of the full call and submission instructions can be viewed and downloaded here as well.
The June 2021 Issue of the Journal of Working-Class Studies has now been published. This issue can be found on our new hosting platform provided by the University of Wyoming, the new site for all archived and future issues of the journal!
Of the move to our new platform, editors Sarah Attfield and Liz Giuffre explain:
“We would like to thank the Working-Class Studies Association past President, Scott Henkel for initiating this move, and the WCSA executive and others who have been part of the negotiations, and thank the wonderful librarians at the University of Wyoming for sharing their skills and facilitating the move. We remain committed to the open access and editorially independent nature of this Journal, and this new home will help us to maintain this commitment.”
The June 2021 issue showcases the variety of writing and scholarship within the field of working-class studies, including sociological, cultural, and artistic approaches. Articles explore contemporary issues for working-class communities, including the Green New Deal, care work and social welfare policy, working-class cultural production in a neoliberal and neo-colonial economic structure, and the treatment of class in undergraduate education. Personal essays and book reviews explore: experiences of aspiration; memories of carpentry work; deindustrialisation in Scotland; union organizing; a memoir of 1960s activism; autoethnographies of working-class women; and a novel centered around temporary workers.
Many thanks to Sarah, Liz, and book review editor Christie Launius for their work putting together this fantastic issue!
Congratulations and welcome to the newest members our of elected leadership and steering committee!
- President-Elect: Michelle Corbin, Worcester State University
- Treasurer: Marc DiPaolo, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
- Steering Committee: Rosie O’Halloran, University of Cambridge
- Steering Committee: Elwood David Watson, East Tennessee State University
- Election Committee: Jack Metzgar, Roosevelt University in Chicago
- Election Committee: Jason Tanenbaum, Oregon State University
- Working Class Academics Section Chair-Elect: Emma Penney, University College Cork
Join us at from at 1:00pm EST for a talk by Dr. Matt Brim, Associate Professor of Queer Studies in the English Department at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Brim is this year’s winner of the Jake Ryan and Charles Sackrey Award for books by writers of working-class origins or work that speaks to the issues of working-class academic experience. Of his book, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University, this year’s judges remark in our awards press release:
The award judges write that this is “exactly the sort of work that the Ryan & Sackrey Award was intended to honor. One of the main insights of writing by working-class academics is that class is imbricated throughout our academic institutions; that there is no ‘escape,’ there is only erasure (mostly at elite institutions that can afford this). […] This is a book full of insights and powerful personal anecdotes and one that makes an important argument: ‘Poor Queer Studies’ can ‘galvanize interclass [anti-racist] cross-institutional queer formations that do not rely on a unidirectional, aspirational model of progress’ (3). We can remake our institutions so that they serve all of us, and this is one great example of where to start.”
We look forward to today’s plenary and encourage our members to attend! To access the zoom link, be sure to register on our conference website.
We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Working-Class Studies Association Awards for work produced in 2020. See our full Press Release here!
C.L.R. James Award for Best Book for Academic or General Audiences
Sarah Attfield, Class on Screen: The Global Working Class in Contemporary Cinema.
The Jake Ryan and Charles Sackrey Award for books by writer(s) of working-class origins or work that speaks to issues of the working-class academic experience
Matt Brim, Poor Queer Studies: Confronting Elitism in the University
Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing
eds. Jim Daniels and M.L. Lieber, RESPECT: The Poetry of Detroit Music
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts
Russo & Linkon Award for Best Published Article or Essay for Academic or General Audiences
Katie Beswick, “Slaggy Mums: Class, Single Motherhood and Performing Endurance”
Studs Terkel Award for Single Published Articles or Series, Broadcast Media, Multimedia, and Film in Media and Journalism
Joseph Sciorra, “Protesta Per Sacco & Vanzetti”
Constance Coiner Award for Completed Dissertations
Lindsay Bartkowski, “Figuring Women’s Work: The Cultural Production of Care and Labor in the Industrial U.S.”
Michelle Gaffey, “Subjects of Economy: Social Documentary Poetics and Contemporary Poetry of Work”
Our award ceremony will take place today, Tuesday, June 8 at 4:30pm EDT on zoom. Join us as we celebrate all the impressive new work produced by our members during an especially difficult year. To access the zoom link, you should register for #WCSA2021 on our conference website!
Many thanks to those that served as this year’s judges. To read more about their selections, read the full Press Release!
Join us at 10:30am EDT for an opening address and welcome from our President Elect, Joseph Varga.
Today’s sessions include…
- Methods and Methodologies in Working-Class Studies
- Responding to Precarity
- Working-Class Students Journeys
- Working Bodies in Literature and Dance
…and many more!
See the full program at our conference website: www.wcsa2021.com